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Davidson Must Answer To Tory Links With Cambridge Analytica

SNP MSP George Adam has written to Ruth Davidson demanding that she explains whether reports linking the Tories and Cambridge Analytica are accurate – and confirm whether and when the UK party has met the firm and if Cambridge Analytica or SCL have done work for the UK Conservative party.

 

After the First Minister listed a series of well publicised and unchallenged links between the Tories and the controversial firm, Ruth Davidson dismissed them as “allegations”. Mr Adam has now challenged the Tory leader to set out which if any of these reports she disputes and on what basis.

 

In addition – the Conservative party continue to fail to answer questions on whether the party has met or worked with Cambridge Analytica or its parent company SCL at any point – the same questions the SNP has already answered.

 

The now former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix told the Westminster Culture Committee in February that they had spoken with “every” political party in the UK, naming the Tories.

 

In a letter to Ms Davidson, Mr Adam wrote:

 

“At First Minister’s Questions, you dismissed links between Cambridge Analytica and your party as ‘allegations’.

 

“Cambridge Analytica have themselves confirmed that they have at least had conversations with the Conservative party – and we know that the UK government has given parent firm SCL public contracts.

 

“Given your apparently interest in transparency, can you tell me which if any of the following reports you dispute and the factual basis on which you dispute them and can you working with the Conservative party provide the answers to the questions about Conservative meetings with SCL and Cambridge Analytica that have so far gone unanswered.

 

“It is true that the UK government gave these contracts to SCL?

 

“Is it true that SCL Group was reportedly granted provisional ‘List X’ status by the Ministry of Defence granting access to secret documents until 2013?

 

“Is it true that SCL used to be run by a former chairman of Oxford Conservative Association?

 

“Is it true that SCL were founded by a former Tory MP, and that your party accepted over £700,000 in donations from an SCL director?

 

“Is it true that a Cambridge Analytica executive reportedly advised the Foreign Office on lessons gleaned from the Trump election?

 

“Do you agree that former Scottish Tory candidate and party vice-chairman Richard Cook who is the public face of the Constitutional Research Council, responsible for a £425,000 donation to the DUP’s Brexit campaign which was then partially spent on AggregateIQ, who are reportedly linked to Cambridge Analytica should reveal the source of this donation?

 

“And – crucially – is former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix correct to have stated in a letter in 2010 that he had worked with the UK Conservative party?

 

“When Alexander Nix told the Westminster Culture Committee in February that they had spoken with ‘every’ political party in the UK, was he correct to name the Conservatives as on party they had spoken with?

 

“During First Minister’s Questions you very carefully qualified your claim that your party hadn’t had any communication with Cambridge Analytica – referring only to the Scottish Tories, rather than the parent organisation.

 

“As you have demanded transparency from others, will you now confirm whether the UK Tories – and not just the Edinburgh office – have met with Cambridge Analytica?”

Scotland Hits 95% Fibre Broadband Target

Paisleys MSP, George Adam has hailed the news that the SNP Government has already exceeded its Programme for Government pledge to deliver fibre broadband to more than 95% of premises in Scotland as a “landmark achievement.”

 

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme is being delivered through two projects – the first covering the Highlands and Islands and the second covering the rest of Scotland.

 

The project covering ‘the Rest of Scotland’ is valued at £264 million and led by the Scottish Government with funding from BT Group, local authorities, the EU via the European Regional Development Fund as well as the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

 

Paisleys MSP, George Adam.

Commenting, George said:

 

“It is a landmark achievement that we have already exceeded the SNP Programme for Government 2017-18 target of ensuring 95% of homes and businesses have access to fibre broadband.

 

“The DSSB project is the most ambitious fibre infrastructure programme in the whole of Europe that has already connected 890,000 premises in Scotland and without which, it is estimated only 66% of Scotland would be able to receive broadband.

 

“Fast and reliable internet is fundamental for the future economic and social success of Paisley and the SNP Government is setting its sights even higher pledging to deliver access speeds of at least 30Mbps to 100% of premises in Scotland by the end of 2021. We will not rest until that final 5% of households are connected.”

Paisleys MSP, George Adam MSP Encourages Shoppers to Keep it Local

Paisleys MSP, George Adam, is encouraging consumers in Paisley to shop locally and support the 4,685 small businesses in the local economy.

 

 

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting businesses in Scotland, including retailers, providing the most competitive package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK in the 2018/19 budget. This includes the Small Business Bonus scheme that has already saved smaller firms £1.5bn, lifting 100,000 business premises out of rates altogether.

 

George commented:

 

“Shopping locally is good for communities, good for the environment and great for the local economy, supporting 28,430 workers in Renfrewshire in small businesses.

 

“Today’s market provides many new challenges for retailers, including the move to online shopping as well as Brexit-fuelled inflation and more expensive imports that translate into higher prices at the checkout. Brexit is the biggest threat facing the Scottish economy and the SNP will continue challenging the Tory government’s extreme Brexit plans and standing up for Scottish businesses and jobs.

 

“Given these challenges, wherever possible, we should all seek to support Paisley’s huge variety of brilliant independent, locally run businesses such as Zamboretto, Bianco Nero, The Mad Hatters, Helen’s Haberdashery, Kenneth Edwards, Finishing Touches & Little Potters. Each small business offers something unique and special, and it is important that we support them and help our local economy to thrive in a market that is increasingly dominated by the big players.”

The Child Poverty Delivery Plan

                                                                                George Adam Welcomes Child Poverty Delivery Plan


Paisleys MSP, George Adam, has welcomed a range of Scottish Government proposals to tackle child poverty – including plans for a new income supplement, which will provide financial support to families who need it most.

Increasing family incomes and reducing living costs are prioritised in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, which sets out how the Scottish Government will meet ambitious legal targets to tackle child poverty.

Actions include a new £12 million employment support fund will help parents in work progress their careers and support unemployed parents into work.

Other initiatives include a new national entitlement for the School Clothing Grant, to help with the costs of uniforms and sports kits, and new support for after-school and holiday childcare, helping parents work more flexibly and increase their incomes.

The report comes after independent analysis found that, if the Scottish Government did nothing, Tory welfare cuts would mean 38% of Scottish children would be in relative poverty by 2030/31.

Commenting, George said:

“In a country as prosperous as Scotland no child should have their chances limited by poverty.

“I’m delighted that this ambitious plan includes a range of actions to support families in Paisley with the cost of living and direct financial support.

“And the ambitious proposal for a new, targeted income supplement show that, when we have the power, the SNP will take action to make Scotland a fairer, stronger country.

“Under Tory cuts, money being is taken from the pockets of low income families, pushing them into crisis, debt, and poverty, with our public services and emergency aid responding as best they can.

“That is why the SNP in government will take action to increase household incomes and reduce costs, supporting children and families here and now.”

                   

 

 


 

George Welcomes Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging more employers to take on apprentices, and the campaign theme for 2018 is
‘Apprenticeships are the Business’.

 

 

George said,

 

‘I wholeheartedly support this scheme and agree that Apprenticeships really are the business. It’s vitally important that young people are given opportunities to learn and improve their practical skills, and apprenticeships are the perfect way to do both simultaneously.’

 

Organised by Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the commitment of businesses that invest in the skills of their workforce, and shows the success of apprentices who have chosen work-based learning to get qualified to develop their careers.

 

‘Business that take on apprentices and truly invest in their employees are what we want to see more of in today’s market so I was delighted to see the great scheme at St. Mirren first hand.’

 

‘Both boys, Conor McBrearty and Matthew Reilly, who are apprentice players at the club, spoke very highly of their apprenticeship and are very enthusiastic about the doors this will open for them in the future.’

 

‘The boys are very driven and seem to be throwing themselves into everything the apprenticeship has to offer. It’s great to see a big local name supporting local boys to reach their potential.’

Scottish Labour Leader Blatantly Misleading Public Over Brexit

Paisleys MSP, George Adam.

The SNP’s George Adam has warned that Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard is “unfit for opposition” following his repeated inaccuracies over what a hard Brexit entails for the country.

Speaking on today’s Good Morning Scotland, the Labour leader contradicted himself several times – at point one supporting single market membership before falsely claiming that leaving the European Union necessitates leaving the single market. He said:

  1. “The option of a Norway-style agreement is something that is not entirely ruled out. And I think the point of the, direction of debate that I’m leading it, is that we need to keep our options open.”
  2. “I don’t think actually you can have permanent membership of the single market because the UK is leaving the European Union.”
  3. “I don’t believe in a hard Brexit.”

A recent poll by Opinium found that 56% of potential Labour voters at the next election want the party to back permanent membership of the single market and customs union – however despite this, the Labour leadership has blocked a vote on the single market proposed by party members for this weekend’s party conference. Mr Leonard this morning appeared to dismiss the vote as something put forward by “half a dozen Labour parties.”

George Adam MSP said:

“This interview was so appalling it has to be heard to be believed.

“Richard Leonard came across as utterly clueless about the main issue facing the country – his rambling in defence of Labour’s support for the Tories’ Brexit plans was simply embarrassing.

“He then failed to show any leadership when it came to Labour’s bid to prop up the Tories at a local level in Aberdeen, or when it came to the race rows which have engulfed a senior Labour MP and councillor.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but no one is entitled to their own facts and with this shambles of a performance, Mr Leonard has proved once and for all that he is unfit for opposition, let alone for government.”

George high street

SNP Budget Brings Funding Boost For Paisley.

More Cash For Local Services Thanks To Progressive Reforms

 

Renfrewshire Council is set to receive a significant funding boost as a result of this year’s SNP Scottish Government budget – with local services in Renfrewshire benefiting from an extra £8.823 million.

 

The SNP’s progressive reforms – which will see 55% of taxpayers pay less in income tax than if they lived in the rest of the UK – guarantee a 2.83% increase rise in Renfrewshire council’s resource budget, providing extra funding for schools, roads and housing. The budget will also see Renfrewshire schools benefit from £4,272,240 million as part of the Pupil Equity Fund, helping to tackle the attainment gap.

 

The Scottish Budget also provides additional spending on our NHS – which will see an extra £400 million in funding to help protect our health service from Tory austerity.

 

Commenting, Paisleys MSP, George Adam said:George high street

 

“This extra funding for Renfrewshire council – an additional £8.823 million for the coming year – is a great settlement for our communities.

 

“The SNP’s progressive reforms on income tax, seeing 70% of people pay less than they did last year, and 55% pay less than they would if they lived south of the border, are vital for allowing this funding increase despite continued austerity being imposed by the Tories at Westminster.

 

“And it takes the total resource budget for our council’s services – such as schools, roads and housing – to £311.453 million for the coming year, an increase of 2.83% when compared with last year.

 

“This progressive budget also provides extra funding for our NHS, education and broadband, and more money for our economy, research and our environment too – as well as protecting free university tuition, free personal care for the elderly, free school meals and free prescriptions.

 

“While the Tories propose cutting over £556 million from public services in order to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthiest – the SNP Government delivers for our councils and protects the vital local services in Paisley that we all hold dear.”

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Tourism Boom For Greater Glasgow and Clyde As Attractions Record Over 30 Million Visits

Year Of History, Heritage And Archaeology Brings Visitors To Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Scottish tourist attractions had more visitors than ever before in 2017 – with over 30 million visitors passing through their doors throughout the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

 

The latest figures from the Association of Scottish Visitors Attractions show 77% of visitor sites reporting an increase in the number of visits – helping support the local tourist economy across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

 

An increase in tourism has also helped create a booming accommodation market with a 7.1% increase of visitors staying in Self-Catered Accommodation in Greater Glasgow and Clyde since last year.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“These latest figures are great to see – and show that Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Scotland remain favourite destinations for tourists, with our world leading attractions seeing over 30 million visitors during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

 

“The £4.6bn being spent on tourist day trips annually is a brilliant contribution to the Scottish economy that we should continue to encourage – while the increase in people staying overnight in our local hotels and guest houses boosts our local economy in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

 

“Tourists boost our restaurants, pubs and cafes by spending around £995 million on food and drink annually while visiting Scotland – and the whole tourist industry is worth over £6 billion to Scotland, supporting jobs and livelihoods across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

 

“It’s no surprise that visitor numbers continue to rise across Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Scotland – attractions such as, The Paisley Abbey (Paisley Renfrewshire), Castle Semple (Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire) and The Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum (Glasgow), will always bring people from far and wide to this corner of the country, and these figures are something for all of us to celebrate.”

Scottish Budget Stage 3

SNP Budget Will Give Scots Best Deal In UK

 

Pay Rise For Public Sector Workers And Lower Taxes For 70% Of Scots

 

The Scottish Government’s budget protects low and middle income earners and delivers for public services and public sector workers, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has said as Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) (No.2) Bill is laid before the Scottish Parliament.

 

The budget delivers progressive reforms to Scotland’s income tax system, with modest increases on higher earners, while 70% of taxpayers will pay less than they did last year and 55% will pay less than the rest of the UK. Opinion polling found that Scots back the SNP’s tax plans by 2 to 1.

 

The Budget will also deliver an additional £400 million for the NHS, an expansion in childcare, more spending on broadband, extra funding for our police and fire services, and a pay rise for hard-working public sector employees.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“This is a budget for a stronger economy and a fairer society – with increased funding for the NHS and protection for low and middle income earners.

 

“The Scottish Government is delivering lower income tax for 70% of Scots, with every worker earning less than £33,000 paying less in tax next year – while protecting public services across Paisley that we all hold dear.

 

“This budget brings an additional £400 million to NHS Scotland, delivers a pay rise for public sector workers, £756 million for affordable homes, additional funding for the arts and culture sector, a £4 billion investment in infrastructure, including in superfast broadband, as well as significant investments in research, education and childcare.

 

“In the face of massive Westminster cuts, ongoing Tory austerity and a damaging hard Brexit – this budget provides investment to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.”

George outside Paisley Town Hall

£5.233 Million Budget Boost For Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire Council will receive an extra £5.233 Million funding under the revised budget proposals unveiled by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

 

The budget boost comes as the Scottish Government confirmed that all local authorities will receive an above inflation increase in resource funding.

 

The SNP budget will give Scots the best deal in the UK – with investment in public services and a tax cut for lower earners.

 

Under the progressive tax reforms 70% of taxpayers will pay less than last year, while higher earners will face a modest increase.

 

These tax changes will allow the Scottish Government to increase health spending by £400 million to £13.6 billion, lift the public sector pay cap and provide a package of investment in the economy.

 

Commenting, Paisleys MSP, George Adam said:George outside Paisley Town Hall

 

“The draft budget shows that where Scotland has the power, the SNP will take a different, fairer approach – and give Scots the best deal in the UK.

 

“Thanks to the decisions made by the Scottish Government, Renfrewshire will see a rise in their revenue funding – with an extra £5.233 Million to spend on local services.

 

“That’s a good deal for taxpayers and for public services in Paisley – and is only possible because of the SNP’s progressive tax reforms, that are backed by the public by 2 to 1.

 

“In the face of massive Westminster cuts, the Scottish Government is using its powers progressively to invest in our schools and our hospitals – and in communities across Paisley.”